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Miami International Airport

Eastern “U” Air Cargo Facility at Miami International Airport

The LanChile/Fine Air Cargo Center is the largest privately funded airport development in the history of MIA with over 500,000 square feet of high bay airside cargo space and refrigerated coolers. The Project was developed on 47.38 acres of land of which 24.27 acres were utilized for building construction and 23.11 acres were utilized for aircraft apron construction.

The total investment in this project was more than $102 million. The project also encompassed a four-story 50,000 sq. ft. US headquarters for LanChile Cargo with corporate offices, a passenger reservations center and space for cargo forwarders in a modern, sleek, high tech glass facility. The airport benefited from this new, revenue producing property without having to invest its own capital or take financial risk.

The development of the “Eastern U” Cargo Complex created an opportunity for the airport to completely redevelop a portion of the airport that had housed a series of World War II-vintage Quonset huts. Site utilities were sized and located to serve the entire area, not just the cargo facility leasehold. Securing aircraft adjacency for the new cargo buildings required taxiway extensions as well as taxilane and ramp construction. All of this had to be approved by the FAA and had to be accomplished at a time when the airport had limited amounts of uncommitted capital to pay for such “off-site” infrastructure improvements.

The funding for this work was provided as a part of the overall cargo facility financing. We retained the airport’s primary outside civil engineering firm as part of our project team. In so doing, we accessed all of the available information regarding site constraints and infrastructure requirements. This also aided coordination with the airport’s technical personnel. The collaboration resulted in a plan that met the goals and objectives of the airport, complied with all applicable federal, state and local regulations, and created the finest cargo facilities ever built at MIA.